3 years ago

Population genomics analyses of European ibex species show lower diversity and higher inbreeding in reintroduced populations

Daniel Croll, Lukas F. Keller, Samer Angelone-Alasaad, Iris Biebach, Christine Grossen
Restoration of lost species ranges to their native distribution is key for the survival of endangered species. However, reintroductions often fail and long-term genetic consequences are poorly understood. Alpine ibex (Capra ibex) are wild goats that recovered from <100 individuals to ~50,000 within a century by population reintroductions. We analyzed the population genomic consequences of the Alpine ibex reintroduction strategy. We genotyped 101'822 genome-wide single nucleotide polymorphism loci in 173 Alpine ibex, the closely related Iberian ibex (Capra pyrenaica) and domestic goat (Capra hircus). The source population of all Alpine ibex maintained genetic diversity comparable to Iberian ibex, which experienced less severe bottlenecks. All reintroduced Alpine ibex populations had individually and combined lower levels of genetic diversity than the source population. The reintroduction strategy consisted of primary reintroductions from captive-breeding and secondary reintroductions from established populations. This step-wise reintroduction strategy left a strong genomic footprint of population differentiation, which increased with subsequent rounds of reintroductions. Furthermore, analyses of genome-wide runs of homozygosity showed recent inbreeding primarily in individuals of reintroduced populations. We showed that despite the rapid census recovery, Alpine ibex carry a persistent genomic signature of their reintroduction history. We discuss how genomic monitoring can serve as an early indicator of inbreeding. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

Publisher URL: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/resolve/doi

DOI: 10.1111/eva.12490

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